The Coastal and Estuarine Storm Tide (CEST) model for the boundary-fitted curvilinear grid has been developed recently to simulate a hurricane-induced storm surge. A new wetting-drying algorithm was based on accumulated volume and was created for simulating overland flooding. To evaluate the capability of the CEST model, it was compared with the well-established storm surge model—Sea, Lake, and Overland Surge from Hurricane (SLOSH)—in model grid representation and surge inundation prediction. Two models were compared: first, by carrying out storm surge simulations for Hurricanes Andrew (1992), Hugo (1989), and Camille (1969) over SLOSH's coarse polar grids with cell sizes of 500–7000 m. Results show that the CEST model agreed better with field observations of storm surge flooding. The CEST model was further evaluated by applying it to a fine-resolution curvilinear grid, which has cell sizes of 100–200 m at the hurricane landfall area, along with a superior representation of coastal topography. Comparison of the model results with field-measured elevations of high water marks and the locations of debris lines indicated that the CEST model, with the use of a fine-resolution grid, greatly reduced the uncertainty in computing storm surge flooding.
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Vol. 2008 • No. 242